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Summer Concert Preview

Cold War Kids 6.13 -  Newport Music Hall Cold War Kids are a difficult band to pin down as their influences are as diverse as their sound, taking lines from Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan, and the Velvet Underground. Their unique aesthetic and impassioned live performances generated quite the buzz in the mid 2000’s, especially from [...]
Danny Hamen



Cold War Kids

6.13 –  Newport Music Hall

Cold War Kids are a difficult band to pin down as their influences are as diverse as their sound, taking lines from Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan, and the Velvet Underground. Their unique aesthetic and impassioned live performances generated quite the buzz in the mid 2000’s, especially from the likes of bloggers who played a part in generating the hype needed for the band to reach the mainstream.

Walk the Moon


If you were under the impression that no culture comes out of Upper Arlington, then you are unfamiliar with Walk the Moon—the radio dominating power-pop quartet that have garnered quite a following since their inception in 2010. From Bonnaroo to Lolipalooza, Conan to Letterman, the Ohio-based group is back in town, so if you’re lucky, you can hopefully spot their parents hooting and hollering from the front row.

Social Distortion


For 30 years, this legendary L.A.-based band has been giving us punk songs in the rockabilly key of Hank Williams, backed by the raucous swagger of The Stones. But unlike the latter, Social D are still cranking out new tunes, letting their fans know that you are never too old to be a punk.



Back in 2005, Paramore were just a handful of teenagers from Tennessee playing sugar-coated pop-punk songs in the vein of Avril Lavigne and Jimmy Eat World. Today, they have become a mainstay of the genre, filling stadiums with nostalgic fans festooned with angst and heavy eyeliner. With a recent performance on Colbert and a new album in the mix, consider this their comeback.

Taylor Swift

7.7 – Ohio Stadium

Much like Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift managed to pull off one of the rarest transitions in music: a transformation from contemporary country starlet into a mainstream pop sensation. Whatever your personal opinions happen to be on T-Swift, you can’t deny her unequivocal cultural force, selling out stadium after stadium with her infectious pop songs. And after her recent contribution to the #metoo movement, she is starting to show a little humanity after all.

Barenaked Ladies

7.11 – EXPRESS Live!

It’s hard to think of a band that better encapsulates the spirit of the ‘90s like the Barenaked Ladies—a time when gas was cheap, Bush was president, and Barenaked Ladies dominated radio waves. Bust out your oversized flannels, mom jeans, and combat boots, for it’s time to relive a bygone era. Don’t know all the words? No worries, these Canadians have admitted to making up some of their nonsensical lyrics onstage as they go.

Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly


If there are two big names that are synonymous with Celtic rock, complete with anthem-style drinking songs and plenty of Irish attitude, it’s the Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly. We couldn’t think of a pairing that makes more sense, save for corn beef and cabbage.

Courtney Barnett

7.14 – Newport Music Hall

Barnett’s deadpan delivery and poignant lyrics about the mundanity of life live at the core of her aesthetic—an inscrutable, Australian girl telling it like it is behind a soft, lazy guitar, fitting her right in with the bygone ’90s slacker genre. Think Pavement with a touch of Lou Reed and a dash of Frankie Cosmos. Her self-released record has gained her praise from Pitchfork among others, landing her a global tour and a collaboration record with her brooding indie rock counterpart, Kurt Vile.

Hanson with Picnic at the Pops

7.14 – Columbus Commons

It doesn’t matter if you are male, female, if you were alive in the early nineties, you had a secret crush on at least one of the Hanson boys. Whether it was their luscious golden locks or their sugary sweet beats is hard to say, but love ‘em or hate ‘em, they were the boy band of their time. Look out One Direction, Hanson is back, and this time they got the entire Columbus Symphony Orchestra at their disposal to make you gush just like old times.


7.15 – Nationwide Arena

These kids were fresh out of high school when they were thrusted in pop-punk stardem, greeting a generation of sad boys and girls with a fresh baroque sound. Crafting theatrical songs infused with perceptive lyrics and mechanical beats, Panic! are the forefront of the pop-punk genre.

George Clinton And Parliament Funkadelic

7.20 – Hollywood Casino

It doesn’t get much better than a free show at the casino—that is, until you add in the funkiest band in history. From rocking diapers to zoot suits, George Clinton has been bringing the funk since the 60’s, blending elements of psychedelia, blues, groove, and of soul to his seemingly endless catalog of records. Even Donald Glover looks up to the man, citing him as a key inspiration for his Childish Gambino album, Awaken My Love.


7.23 – Schottenstein Center

At some point during the early 21st century, Radiohead became more than just a band—they evolved from indie stalwarts to a cultural phenomenon, a melancholic touchstone for music fans who crave adventure and longing and pain and courage in their music. This isn’t just a rock concert—it is a collective experience.



Ween has always tiptoed the line of parody and novelty, a prodigiously talented duo whose daffy take on alternative rock mutated the genre itself. They were the goofballs of the alt-rock era, deviant deconstructionists who refused to take anything too seriously, creating a sound that satirizes the genre while still firmly standing on its own two feet.

Coheed and Cambria & Taking Back Sunday


Melodic hardcore might seem like an oxymoron, but these icons transcend seamlessly between thrashing guitars and accessible pop, their sounds often associated with the screamo scene of the early 2000’s. It’s hard to say how many breakups have resulted in a TBS marathon, but we know that we have more than likely been a part of that statistic.

Marilyn Manson w/ Jonathan Davis and The Melvins


Due to Manson’s stage props turning on and injuring him during a performance last year, we were left with a canceled Columbus show and shattered Manson dreams. But things are looking up, as the Mensa-goth icon has made a full recovery and will be returning to our city, bringing with him one of the most prolific names in garage punk, The Melvins, and Johnathan Davis, the lead singer of the nu-metal sensation, Korn.

Jay-Z and Beyonce

8.16 – Ohio Stadium

Herein lies the definition of a power couple—two equally prolific cultural forces touring the world together, bringing their all-star hits to the masses hand-in-hand. Considering the monumental crossover of their fanbase, this just makes perfect sense. The only thing we can hope for is that they play “Crazy In Love.” If not, we will have more than “99 Problems.”


8.26 – Breakaway Music Festival at Mapfre Stadium

Mumble rap as a genre often all blends together, but there is something absolutely distinguishable about Migos—perhaps it is their quick-paced, Atlanta flow or quirky, rhythmic wordplay that pushed this related trio to the top seemingly overnight. Sure, the casual listener might scoff at their seemingly simple, single-heavy repertoire, but upon close inspection, the Breakaway Sunday headliner could have a lasting impression on hip-hop as we know it.

Fall Out Boy

9.9 – Nationwide Arena

If you ever wondered why the emo scene lasted so long, and how the screamo aesthetic managed to boil over the sound into the mainstream, you have Fall Out Boy to thank. Selling over four million records to a once niche audience is no easy feat. After years of tightening their polished metal-core sound, this Chicago-based emo band has given millions of fans something to cry about.

Car Seat Headrest

9.9 – Newport Music Hall

Car Seat Headrest teeters between softly murmured folk—as if founder, Will Toledo, is lying by your side whispering his lyrics into year ear—and high intensity, deeply satisfying lo-fi pop, a juxtaposition of tiptoed sweetness and crashing guitar lines. Technique and ambitious songwriting have thrust the English major into indie rock stardom, rightfully so.

Gary Numan

9.16 – Newport Music Hall

In the 80’s, Gary Numan was pioneering the popular synth-pop sound, paving the way for the likes of MGMT and Tame Impala, among others. You may know him for his hit about cars, but this isn’t a one trick pony—Numan is an extraordinary talent with an impressive catalog of groundbreaking music. It’s no wonder that NIN’s Trent Reznor names his as a key influence.

J. Cole with Young Thug

9.23 –  Schottenstein Center

After days of standing outside the offices of Jay-Z with his mixtape, a young J. Cole was more than surprised that he would be the first artist signed to his idol’s Roc Nation label, catapulting him into the public eye and and making him one of the most successful rappers in the early 2010’s.

Shakey Graves

9.25 – Newport Music Hall

In a recent interview, Shakey, AKA Alejandro Rose-Garcia, admitted that a fan approached him and said that his music inspired her to be homeless. While romanticizing homelessness wasn’t quite his intention, this demonstrates the galvanizing prowess of his music, a smokey spectral fusion of folk and blues in the style of a one-man-band.

Maroon Five

9.25 – Nationwide Arena

With the perfect concoction of neo soul and polished pop, Maroon Five was the answer to the new millennium, sweeping the nation with their contagious, light-hearted sound. Though they have had ups and downs in their career, there certainly was a point when you couldn’t walk into a mall or grocery store without having “This Love” stuck in your head for weeks thereafter.  Chances are, it is now whooshing through your brain after reading this blurb. You’re welcome.

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Arts & Culture

Arts Fest Preview: See BalletMet live outdoors!





BalletMet’s Friday night’s headline performance at 8:30 p.m. at the Arts Festival is sure to be a highlight of weekend. One of the nation’s top 20 largest professional companies, BalletMet consists of dancers hailing from across the nation and the world and boasts a premiere academy for aspiring professional dancers, one that’s been recognized as an institution of local and national stature.

Since 1978, BalletMet has brought incredible dance to theaters in Central Ohio and beyond and their commitment to bringing dance to the Columbus community, especially in underserved areas, is unparalleled.

Art of War Photo by Jen Zmuda

From in-school programs to theater field trips, scholarships and free performances, the company is dedicated to making dance accessible to all. More than 10,000 children attend the company’s Morning at the Ballet field trip performances each year. And thanks to a grant from PNC Arts Alive, BalletMet’s second company, BalletMet 2, has performed at free events at the King Arts Complex, Franklin Park Conservatory and more, throughout the 2018-19 season.


In addition to the free performance at the Arts Festival BalletMet will perform at Dance on Dakota on Friday, May 10, from 5 to 8 p.m. in Franklinton. This performance is also free.

Dance on Dakota, co-hosted by Franklinton Arts District, is part of a weekend-long block party in Franklinton and features free food and drink and a collaborative performance with TRANSIT ARTS. The event will take place at Dakota Ave. and Town St.

Dancers Grace Anne Powers and William Newton Photo by Jen Zmuda

BalletMet’s Columbus Arts Festival performance will include a mixed repertoire of shorter pieces from its past productions and will be preceded by music from DJ Donnie M. of Damn Girl.

And if these performances capture your interest, the company recently announced its 2019-20 season, which includes ALICE, based on the later stories of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll, Twisted 3, a collaboration with the Columbus Symphony and Opera Columbus, and, of course, The Nutcracker.

More info at For all your Arts Festival details visit

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Arts & Culture

Arts Fest Preview: You wood hate to miss local crafter





Woodworker and Art Makes Columbus featured artist Devon Palmer has been working with his hands since his upbringing in northeast Indiana. His mother a wood carver and his father a carpenter and cabinet maker, Palmer took a more mechanical route by obtaining his pilot’s license and attending Purdue University to pursue a career as an airplane mechanic.

But as his career transitioned from maintenance to the tech field, he yearned to work with his hands again. Originally he considered pottery, before a class he planned to attend got canceled. But a trip home the weekend before Thanksgiving led to his father introducing him to woodturning.

That was more than 15 years ago. And though he is largely self-taught, Palmer also credits local woodturners from the Central Ohio Woodturners (a chapter of the American Association of Woodturners) for taking him under their wing. In 2005, he opened his first studio just north of Downtown, and in 2007 he began teaching woodturning at Woodcraft Columbus.


Today, Palmer does a bit of mentoring of his own. He teaches classes in blade and bowl turning, resin cast pen turning and more advanced projects like hollow vessel turning in his studio at the Idea Foundry. He is also adding a series of LGBTQ date night pen turning classes to his growing schedule of classes, shows and demonstrations.

Palmer says his work represents “family and connectedness” with work ranging from salad bowls and laser engraved pens to funerary urns and ornaments. The details in his hand-crafted tableware and home goods manage to invoke a warm sense of community, fellowship, and hospitality.

Devon Palmer works in internet technology and is also a pianist and ordained minister.

Make your own wood turned pen with Devon Palmer at the Columbus Arts Festival, June 7-9, at the Big Local Art Village located at the Festival’s Franklinton entrance. Learn more about Devon at and get all your Arts Festival details at

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Arts & Culture

Arts Festival Preview: Dr. E uses voice to overcome adversity





Dr. E, singer-songwriter and author Cleveland-born singer-songwriter Dr. Elaine Richardson — known by her stage name Dr. E — has used her voice to detail the incredible circumstances she encountered while overcoming great adversity. Born to a musician father and Jamaican immigrant mother, Dr. E begun tapping into her talent while singing in church, her school’s choir, and in girl groups.

Dr. E continued to sing despite the difficult path she faced. As a teen, she became a sex trafficking victim and fell into addiction. In her recovery, she pursued higher education at Cleveland State University and Michigan State University. During this time Dr. E also began performing as the frontwoman for a number of cover bands and placing her original music on various TV shows. She recorded her first album, “Elevated,” in 2010.

Dr. E’s introspective song lyrics reflect the often difficult process of healing while defending those who share her experiences or face exploitation and discrimination in other ways.


On her sophomore album, 2017’s “Songs for the Struggle,” she gives a soulful retelling of her journey from sex trafficking survivor to university professor, Ph.D., author and advocate. Blending elements of soul, rock, funk, rhythm and blues, and jazz, Dr. E sings with an astonishing amount of hope and positivity; Though the album details the trauma and exploitation experienced by Dr. E during her teen years, her power message ultimately expresses affirmations of self-love and acceptance employed with an equally powerful and joyous voice.

Dr. E is currently a professor of literacy studies in the College of Education at The Ohio State University. She has written a number of books on African American literature as well as a memoir, “PHD to Ph.D.: How Education Saved My Life.”

See Dr. E. perform at the Columbus Arts Festival, Saturday, June 8 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on the Big Local Stage on Rich St.

For hours, artist listing and all Festival information go to

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